Monday, November 30, 2009
Four Gallons of Keys Found with Metal Detector.
I decided to do something a little different today.
People do loose their keys! This bucket primarily contains hotel keys from the late eighties to early nineties. I don't know when exactly they switched to the key cards. I was surprised to learn that many people collect hotel key cards. I personally find the nice big brass or metal hotel keys more interesting, yet I haven't seen many web sites on collecting hotel keys, and the collections I have seen don't have the big brassy keys, but rather the focus seems to be on the plastic or metal tags bearing the name of the hotel and/or room number. I guess I should get some of the more attractive brass ones with attractive graphics and create a little display or something. I need to find the time to see what all I have in there. And that isn't near all of them.
That brings up another thought. You can enhance the value of your finds by properly cleaning, conserving, researching and displaying them. Shipwreck artifacts can be very attractively mounted along with some nice identifying information. I always say that digging up the item is only half the fun.
Yesterday or the day before I posted a web site that explains how to clean and conserve a variety of types shipwreck artifacts. If you missed that, you might want to go back and look for it.
Here is another good site on conservation of shipwreck artifacts. It also has some good photos of some interesting recovered artifacts.
If you'd like to see recently realized auction prices for a variety of older but not extremely rare US coins, take a look at the following.
Conditions and Forecast. Not much has been going on. Certainly nothing has changed much for a while. The only thing that is changing at all is the very front of the beaches where a little, and sometimes it is very little, churning is going on.
The seas are expected to be a little higher Wednesday and then again later in the week, but nothing significant.
With the west winds and the calm seas it's a good time to check out the front beach. You might find a nice water hunting spot, or just scout around and check out some new locations. Overall, this has been a slow year.
I have to stick with a 1 Treasure Coast treasure beaches rating.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Bronze Shipwreck Spike Found on the Treasure Coast.
This one was found some time ago by Gary D. using a Whites XLT.
A couple of days ago, I mentioned finding a coin hole and discussed some of the characteristics of the typical coin hole. Coin holes will often be near to or in the wet sand. There are a few different strategies for working the wet sand. One is to get there before low tide, work back and forth parallel to the water and follow the tide down. This has a number of advantages. For one thing, it is easier to retrieve objects in wet sand on an out-going tide. It can be difficult to retrieve deeper objects when the water keeps coming up and filling in the hole.
Another advantage of this technique if your detector does well in wet salt sand, is that many detectors will detect deeper in saturated sand than in dry sand. So even if you detected the same area when it was dry it would not be a bad idea to go over it again when wet. You might find a few more targets.
Queen Anne's Revenge. If you hunt the Treasure Coast treasure beaches, or any treasure beach for that matter, I would encourage you to study shipwreck artifacts. I found a really good academic study of lead studs used on early 18th century shipwrecks. It is the kind of study I really appreciate. If you are interested take a look.
For some less detailed information and photos of artifacts taken from the same wreck, take a look at this.
Or back up to the home page. http://www.qaronline.org
That web site is all about the pirate ship Queen Anne's Revenge. In my opinion it is a five star site. Not only does it present a good variety of artifacts but also keeps you up to date on changes to the wreck site and other salvage related topics in general. I highly recommend this site to anyone interested in shipwrecks.
Conditions and Forecast. It looks like this is going to be a great day to detect the low tide areas or get in the water if you are in an area where you can do that. The seas are expected to be very calm and the tides minimal.
There should still be a few low tide finds to be made after all the churning to the front beach. I've been finding some old coins and things in the low tide areas so I know they are out there.
Work off some of that extra turkey.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Photo of a Couple of Items Found Yesterday.
No, I didn't pick up a cow pie. The bigger item is a melted slab of lead. Evidently it was somehow melted on the sand. Of course I don't have any idea how that happened, or whether it was intentionally melted or the result of fire.
The smaller item appears to be an old bullet. Note the apparent rings. I don't know if the two items are associated in any way or not. Lead was melted and poured into molds to make bullets, so I guess they could be related.
People often ask how to clean their artifacts. The process differs for different materials. Here is a good site that tells how to clean and preserve a variety of types of materials including glass, bone, pewter, silver, copper, lead, bronze and more.
Notice that the author recommends trying the procedures on piece of scrap material rather than making your first attempt on something valuable or that you really care about. That is a good idea. Practice before using a new procedure on your cherished finds.
You might remember Bill P's process for cleaning silver cobs that was presented in my Dec. 30, 2008 post. Bill's process did an excellent job. I showed the good results that I got using Bill's process on one of my cobs. Even though the above web site gives an alternate process, I highly recommend the process that Bill describes. Go back in the blog and check it out if you haven't seen it.
Here is a reminder. Keep your eyes open while you detect. You can visually scan a lot more ground than you can detect. Yesterday I eye-balled a piece of gold that due to its position, I think I would have missed if I had not seen it. it was sticking out of a cliff up off of the beach. I also eye-balled about three old coins that were laying on the surface of the beach as I detected. When you are on a good spot, it is common to find items on or very near the surface. You might also visually find thin gold chains that many detectors would completely miss.
Forecast and Conditions. The seas are expected to be about 4 to 5 feet tomorrow and then decreasing for a few days. The wind will be from the north and northwest and the tides not too high. That should make it possible to take advantage of the churning that has been happening on the beach fronts. I think the north winds will cause a few small scooped-out areas. They won't necessarily be obvious. In fact they might be difficult to spot unless you have an practiced eye.
I'm leaving my beach conditions rating at a 1 (poor) as I expect the better spots t0to be few and scattered.
Friday, November 27, 2009
It was a nice morning to hit the beach. I guess you have to understand that I like bad weather. This morning it was just a little chilly. That was fine with me.
Later in the morning I saw two more detectorists.
The beaches weren't doing much. The water hasn't been high enough to do anything much to the old cuts that were towards the back of the beach. I did find a few scooped out areas where some older coins and things got deposited.
It was towards low tide down on the front of the beach where i found what I would call a classic coin hole.
When I made my first pass through the area the tide was still pretty high and I was high on the beach. I hit a couple of coins and lighter things, so I thought I would move on and hit the spot again on the return trip when the water was down and I could get down lower on the beach.
In the mean time a found a few things, including a little gold and some yet to be identified objects and then on the way back I hit that first area and emptied the hole.
The hole had the shape of a elongated C with the open end towards the water. As a classic coin hole, the edges (top and end) were defined by the presence of pennies and other lighter objects. In the middle of the hole were nickles and quarters. Usually when you find a classic hole like that most of the gold rings will be found below the quarters and sometimes over the edge still in the water.
I worked the hole until the water was coming back up. I was getting tired anyhow. My back muscles were starting to tighten up from digging.
My advice is that anytime you find more than one coin in close proximity, check to see if there is a coin line or hole. A coin line, as distinct from a coin hole, distributes the coins in a more or less narrow line, instead of an oval or "C" shape. Check thoroughly above and below the first found coins and to both sides to see if the pattern of coins continues in one or more directions.
On another topic, I always regret having missed some opportunities because I didn't recognize clues and items when I saw them. You will be more productive in the field and get more out of your found items when you learn more about a wide variety of old items. I know that I've left items in the field because I simply didn't know what they were and after realizing what they were, wish that I had kept them. One example that I often use is the first musket flint that I found. I found it with a piece of twisted metal. I remember both of the pieces very well even after years have elapsed. I now realize that the twisted piece of metal was the part of the musket that held the flint. I wish I had kept both the flint and the part, but more important is the fact that if I knew what they were at the time, I undoubtedly would have searched the area better and undoubtedly came up with more good finds. That is why I always encourage studying a wide variety of old artifacts.
Here is a web site that shows photos of a variety of shipwreck artifacts, both uncleaned and conserved. The items include canons, bottles, and other early shipwreck artifacts. Take a look.
Here is another site that shows a number of shipwreck artifacts. This one is from a later wreck site. One thing I found particularly interesting on this site is the bone fork handles, which will now be more aware of. It is always good to be able to recognize what general period artifacts come from too. Bottles are pretty easy to get a general date on if you know something about how they were made at different periods.
Here is the second site that I'll recommend today for taking a look at some shipwreck artifacts.
Conditions and Forecast. The seas are about four feet. The tides are not getting very high. And the seas are expected to decrease over the next few days. That is not a very exciting picture. I'll stick with my 1 (poor) beach conditions rating.
Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Contented Pair of Divers Relaxing After Thanksgiving Meal.
I took this photo last weekend. What would you rather see out there in the water, a shark or a hippopotamus? It reminds me of the time I was doing some water hunting at a resort in the middle of a bunch of frolicking tourists. A huge fish or shark or something swam right through the crowd and no one seemed to notice. If they had noticed, I think there would have been some real commotion.
It's funny what you see out there sometimes. There was one spot where a barracuda would follow me around for hours. It didn't bother me at first, but when he focused on me for so long, it would sometimes start to get on my nerves.
I've seen some beautiful scenes when detecting in the ocean. I really wish I had caught some of them on camera.
I saw a big fat wild turkey walking along the side of the road in the morning two days ago. I wonder if he survived.
I guess my mind is starting to wander. I'm ready for the holiday.
From the Believe It Or Not Department. Sometimes things do show up in the most surprising places. The following web site discusses a number of cases in which metallic items were found in deposits dating back thousands of years before man was thought to exist. It appears that some of them were studied and reported in the scientific literature. I tend to believe that the dating techniques are often way off. I've seen what I would call sandstone form in about three years on the banks of the Indian River.
Nonetheless, these are interesting stories that might give you something to think about.
If you like reading about mysteries like that, take a look at their home page.
Detecting Conditions and Forecast. I don't expect things to improve much over the next few days. I'm sticking with my 1 (poor) treasure beach conditions rating.
The surf web site is predicting 4.5 foot seas on Friday. It looks like that is the most that we can expect for the coming week. One thing to watch is that on Friday the wind charts are predicting some north winds. That might possibly do some good to the beach fronts.
Oh,by the way, the hippopotamus photo was taken at Disney World.
I'm winding down for the Thanksgiving Holiday. You might have got that idea from my blog today. I might even take tomorrow off, but I'll get back to my serious self again after the holiday.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I only saw two different beaches this morning but the ones I saw were really mushy. It just didn't look good. It hasn't been that mushy since summer. That is why I dropped my treasure beaches rating back to a 1 (poor).
I understand that a cold front will be moving through, but looking at the surf web sites it looks like the increase in seas won't be enough to do us much good on the Treasure Coast. The web sites aren't projecting seas any higher than four feet for the next several days. It looks like detecting on the Treasure Coast will be challenging.
You might get caught in a rain shower, so be prepared.
Gold and Metals Prices. Gold keeps hitting new highs and yesterday was up around $1170. Silver, platinum and copper were also going higher as the dollar took a dive. That trend has been going on for some time and I don't see anything that is going to cause it to stop.
A Treasure Story with a Lesson.
Gary D., whose finds I show from time to time and one of the most productive detectorists around, sent me a story that has a number of lessons in it.
He tells about detecting some time ago when he was just beginning to hunt the Treasure Coast and one day when most of the popular beaches were mobbed, he went to one of the less hunted beaches that was mentioned in a book. He said, "I was surprised to see someone walking off the beach with a very old detector in his hand, a Whites Coinmaster, I had the Whites XLT, and I had a smug feeling to myself that I had the better machine... I said hello to the guy and I jokingly asked, "Any luck with your antique machine." He put me right in my place as he showed me a lovely dated silver 2 reale attached to a small spike. He told me he found it because the other guys had discriminated it out, and he then went on to tell me that just because a machine is old do not be fooled as he had found hundreds of reales with his trusty Coinmaster... He told me to keep quiet about the location and stay away from the crowds. Both things I did. Seeing and touching that beautiful 2 reale attached to the side of that small iron spike probably saved me from giving up on the Treasure Coast all together. I owe that guy a beer!!"
There are at least three important lessons in that story as told by a top notch detectorist. I won't bother to elaborate on the lessons today since if you read this blog, you've heard me talk about them before.
I guess this would be a good time to show one of Gary D's nice recent water finds (last Saturday I think it was).
Nice! That's two ounzes of gold.
Have fun and be thankful.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Fantastic Treasures Found on Deep-Water Wreck.
Here is an good story about a group that found crystal skulls associated with Cortez, emeralds and other kinds of treasure on a deep-water wreck off the coast of Florida.
Whether you believe in psychics or not, the article says that psychics helped the divers find the wreck. I'm personally more of an empiricist when it comes to hunting, but I've had dowsers send me marked maps and I did find evidence that supported the significance of the marked locations even though I didn't find the treasures. I think anyone that has done much detecting has had a feeling at one time or another that you would call intuitive if not psychic.
This is an interesting article with a lot of good photos. The tone could cause one to doubt the author's motives a little, but that doesn't make it any less interesting.
Here is the address.
Lost Confederate Gold. France loaned the Confederacy a fortune of gold that was to be paid back at the end of the war. It disappeared in 1865.
Here is a site where you can read more about that.
Forecast and Conditions. Well the seas have calmed down considerably. Only three foot seas now with a west wind. I'm dropping my treasure beaches rating back to a 1. You might be able to get some nice low tide finds and in some areas where you can get in the water, that might be a good option.
It looks like we're not going to have any good cutting for at least a few days. Nonetheless, there is always something to be found and somewhere to hunt. It wouldn't be a bad time to try something different. And the snow birds are arriving, so you can always consider hitting some of the tourist spots.
Reader Email. Someone said that the round conglomerate I posted a few days ago looked just like a WW II helmet that they found on the Treasure Coast one time.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I don't know what this iron object is. I have a feeling it has to do with fires, but I don't know how it was used. The top appears to be made to bolt on to the top of the other piece. I would say this one is definitely not associated with a shipwreck and probably not nearly that old. But again, I don't really know anything about this find for sure. Any ideas appreciated.
If you want to see what the Fisher treasure ships have been finding in 2009, here is a good account.
An EO is an encrusted object. I showed you an encrusted object yesterday. They can be X-rayed or otherwise analyzed.
Also notice that they don't hit it big every time either. There are a lot of empty holes out there.
When it comes to beach hunting there are thousands of miles of beaches. And those good finds are usually about an inch or two in size. That means that you have to put your coil over that one square inch of sand as opposed to the empty miles of sand. That is the real trick and that is why it is important to learn how the forces of nature distribute items on a beach. It is also why it is important to learn how to read a beach and to recognize the signs of treasure.
I didn't mention it before, but yesterday the first two objects that I found were green encrusted nickles. What does that tell you? One thing it might suggest is that someone has recently detected that area, AND, they probably were using discrimination. You can often tell if an area has been detected and you can often also tell some things about the previous detectorist. That can be useful information. You can detect in a way to take advantage of what the previous guy left.
I don't mind following someone that is using discrimination. Actually, I'll occasionally follow myself even if I am not, and I seldom do, use discrimination. If an area is promising enough it is sometimes worth covering again, and sometimes again and again. Items can easily be missed.
I'll go back over ground that I already covered especially when the water is coming and going over the area. The moving water causes changes in conductivity and how your detector handles ground balancing.
If there is a lot of trash or targets in an area, it is easy to miss a few.
I like to remove everything. One item can easily mask another or even just distract you so that you miss another. When there is a high density of targets it is almost always worth covering the same area again.
I sometimes like to go over the same ground using a second detector or second set of settings. On the second pass, you might choose to use a different coil, switch to all metals, or better yet, an entirely different type of detector. All detectors have their own operating characteristics, and therefore their own strengths and weaknesses.
Once you find a good productive spot, it is often better to go over it two or three times rather than tramping miles over empty sand. Of course, sometimes you have to cover a lot of ground to find that productive spot to begin with.
Conditions and Forecast. The seas are now down around four feet or less and will continue to decrease for a few days even though we do have east winds. It looks like we'll have a slight incease in a few days again, but not enough to do much good. I think I'll stick with my 2 rating, but it is barely a 2. The good spots are really thinning out.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Found With Metal Detector on Treasure Coast
This photo shows an iron object of unknown identify found on a shipwreck beach. I don't know what the object is, how old it is, or even if it is associated with a shipwreck or not. But the reason I decided to show this piece of iron junk, is to give an example of how things adhere to iron. There were more stones attached to this object when I originally picked it up. There very well could have been coins or other interesting things attached. And here is my point. If you discriminate out iron or just decided to skip over this piece of junk, you could well have been missing something good. Almost anything could be attached to a piece of iron like this.
Just a few days ago I showed a piece of conglomerate with a finger ring sticking out of it, along with a couple of fossils. If I came across something like this in the field, I would not want to leave it without inspecting it and whatever might be attached to it. Even if there is nothing valuable attached to the object, you might get some good information from inspecting the object.
The object is about one foot across. If anyone has an ideas about its identity, I'd like to hear your guess.
Hoard of Rare Coins Found. You can find things in the craziest places sometimes and then you have to wonder how they got there. One lady buried two bags of gold and silver coins near a religious grotto for safe keeping it seems. She didn't even bury them very well. I think she just thought no one would find them. But the coins, worth around $40,000 dollars, were found by someone else that returned them.
Here is the story.
Things to remember:
How you use your detector is more important than the detector you use.
A detector never found anything. It just beeps when you put it over a target. The trick is to consistently put your coil the right place.
I'd trust a crafty old Indian with a bow and arrow to bring home the meat before a city slicker with the best rifle available. That is how I feel about detectorists and detectors too. I guess that is just another way of saying, how you use your detector is more important than the detector you use.
Forecast and Conditions. There are still some decent swells and high tides even though they are decreasing. I'm sticking with my 2 TCTBDC rating. I don't see anything real promising in the forecast. If the surf web sites are correct seas will be decreasing for the next few days. I'd still be checking out some of the less accessible dune areas that were cut earlier and the low tide areas.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Shipwreck Spike Found on a Treasure Coast Beach Yesterday.
This is a strange one. Did you ever notice that I never know what I find? The reason is that I usually post photos of things that baffle me in some way and I hope that someone else will share some information that helps to clear things up.
This spike is just over five inches long. It is square and looks like it had an unusually broad head, which appears to have been subjected to so much force that it was pulled through. I could probably get a better idea of the size and shape of head if I wanted to straighten it out, but I don't. I also wonder if the pointed end was intentionally bent to hold better or if that happened later. At first I thought it was a hook, but that is not my opinion now.
Like I said yesterday there are still some things being found, mostly including older US coins and what I call secondary targets.
If you've been reading my blog for a number of months, you might know my position on things like discrimination and detecting depth. I don't present those opinions as fact. My opinions are the result of my personal experience and observation.
One of the most surprising things to many people is that I place very little emphasis on a detecting deep. Depth plays a greater role in detecting other places, but for a variety of reasons that I've mentioned before, it is not as important for beach hunting. Indeed, you do want to have a detector that gives you reasonable depth, but depth is far from the most important thing when beach hunting, and in my opinion, many people are way too concerned with getting the deepest seeking machine when they could better put their focus elsewhere.
Something that I strongly encourage is not using any (yes I said any) discrimination when hunting on a beach - except in a very very few situations. If you get a signal, most of the time you are much better off to dig it up and look at it and if it is junk, dispose of it. There could be another target being masked by the junk and other potentially good targets being missed if you use discrimination. Also, any and all items that you find on a beach can provide useful information if you try to determine what the item is telling you.
I don't want to get into those topics in great detail now, but I did want to address a related topic - coil size. Bigger is not always better. In fact, in my opinion, seldom is a large coil better - only when you are targeting a specific kind of target and are willing to possibly overlook many smaller and potentially valuable targets.
Here are two coils that I've used. The big one is a fifteen inch coil and the small one is a five-and-a-half inch coil.
Which of the two coils do you think has found the best finds? Which do you think I would choose most of the time?
The smaller one has found many times the number of valuable items than the big coil. I won't get into the technicalities of all of that, (I don't think that I could do justice to that discussion.) but I do suggest that when making a choice on coils, you should realize that bigger is not always better.
On another note, here is a good general article about Florida shipwrecks that you might find interesting.
And here is a handy little tip for making quick size estimates. A U.S. one dollar bill is just a touch over 6" long, and a penny is 3/4" in diameter.
If you haven't seen it yet, go back a couple of days and look at the Google Earth image that Brian found.
I'm sticking with my 2 Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Condition Rating for now. The surf sites show gradually diminishing seas over the nest few days.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Gary D has been finding a variety of these arrowhead shipwreck spikes. The fantastic bent one shown in the photo is his favorite for obvious reasons.
I had fun out there today. The seas are rougher than I expected. The high tides are coming up and continuing to chip away at some of the old cuts that haven't filled in yet.
I like these days when there is only a 2 rating on my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Scale. Even though conditions are not great, things can be found. You just have to work a little harder to hunt out the good spots that there are. I like the challenge, and I also like finding one good spot and putting in some good quality focused time instead of wondering which of the many beaches I should check out.
I found some things. Tomorrow I'll probably post a photo of one of the finds - probably a shipwreck artifact.
There are some things out there to be found, if you'll hunt them out.
I'm sticking with my 2 beach conditions rating for now.
By the way, the Colored Beach site was still sanded in just like shown in the photo that I posted a few days ago.
Gold Treasure Hoard Found in River.
Two amateur divers found more than 30 items over two years. The hoard belonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1960s and 1970s. The item included gold medallions, coins, a brooch and other items. It is not know how the items ended up in the river.
To read more visit the following web site.
A lot of things end up in rivers for one reason or another.
Gold Coins to Bring High Prices at Auction. A number of gold coins are expected to bring up to eighty thousand dollars at auction including a rare Double Eagle.
Well, I think that is it for today.
Some time ago I talked in this blog about using Google Earth to find detecting locations and treasure sites. One of the readers of this blog came up with an image that looks pretty interesting to me. Brian Cook sent me the image. I am no expert on interpreting these images, but this does look interesting. It is just east of Ocean Village north of John Brooks Park. It seems to be pretty close to the area that has been referred to as the gold fields. Brian and I would both love to hear if you know what the image shows or even if you just have some ideas.
Tom Gidus wrote to say that the McKee Treasure Museum building that I recently mentioned is indeed still standing. I haven't been down that way in years.
Anybody know about detecting in Hong Kong? I received an email from one reader asking about that. Maybe someone can provide some info. Some other questions were also asked about scoops and traveling with a detector. I'll discuss some of that in a blog some day soon.
I was thinking that the recent price of gold is pretty high, but considering what is going on with the world economy, the price of gold might go a lot higher (But who really knows for sure?). With China and some of the other countries dumping the dollar and buying gold in large quantities, who knows where it might go.
Gold has not hit new record prices if you are talking about inflation-adjusted dollars.
What you might not have noticed is that the price of silver is also going up. Yesterday it went up about 80 cents, which when compared to the price of gold doesn't seem like much, but you have to remember that the price per ounce is now around $18.00, so if you consider the percentage gain, that is pretty good. You can purchase a lot more silver than gold at current prices, and the possible gains are worth considering.
Gold Ring Returned After Being Lost of Eight Years.
Here is the story.
China has replaced South Africa as the world's top gold producer. And Chile plans to triple production. For more of the story....
Conditions and Forecast. I'm sticking with my 2 rating for now. The seas are expected to slowly diminish over the next few days. Unless the north winds create some well placed cuts on the beach front, I'll soon be dropping my beach rating back to a 1. Nonetheless, I'm sure there are still some nice low tide finds to be made, even if they are few and far between.
I hope to be talking about scoops and traveling with a detector soon.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Silver Cob Found with Metal Detector on Treasure Coast.
Below I talked about when I began to hunt the Treasure Coast beaches. This is one of the cobs I found in 1988. Notice the three digit date and mint and assayer marks. Not too many beach found half reales show that much data so clearly.
I recently found a web site that talks about Art McKee, one of the earliest treasure hunters to dive the treasure ships of Florida. I met Art one time when I was in the Keys detecting and stopped by his Treasure Museum. The museum wasn't open at the time, but Art came out and talked. He was known for doing that. I suppose the building is still there, but I don't know.
Here is the site.
When I started hunting the Treasure Coast beaches, I was still living down in South Florida, but I made an occasional trip up to the Treasure Coast to try my hand at finding some shipwreck treasures. I've mentioned this before, but I made a number of trips up to the Treasure Coast before I finally found my first cob.
Before finding that first one, I sent away for a treasure map of the shipwreck beaches. It was produced by Roy Volker and advertised in a magazine. Since I wasn't having any luck on my trips to the Treasure Coast,the map gave me some confidence about where to look.
The map marked five of the main shipwreck beaches. I still have it.
My best trip for finding cobs was on December 23rd of 1988. It was so cold that there was ice on the road when I left. And I was out there freezing my fingers off, but finding cobs. One other detectorist showed up, but after getting a blast of that freezing air, packed up his detector and left before taking the first sweep. I didn't stay very long myself because I was on the way to my mother's house up north and just stopped for a while.
It seemed that everybody on the Treasure Coast in those days was using Garret detectors. I was using a modified Nautilus and later the Mac Turbo and Aquapulse.
I don't know why I got off on all that. I guess it was because I saw the site on Art McKee.
The surf web sites are projecting five foot seas, slowly decreasing over the week. I'll maintain my 2 rating for now. It looks like we'll be getting some nice high tides. I'll be watching to see what the north winds do to the front of the beaches.
That is all I have for now.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I eye-balled this near the water line on one of the main shipwreck beaches some time ago. I never figured out what it is and nobody else seems to know. I'm showing it again in the hope that someone has some ideas.
It is light and made of a non-metallic material that will crumble when not handled carefully. It is about the size of a silver half-dollar and appears to have an eagle on the front of it. You might be able to see part of the breast and one wing. It has rays coming out from the center and around the edge has four pairs of lobes. It looks like the design of a coin or medal, but like I said is non-metallic. Maybe it could be a seal. Any ideas appreciated.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina and other parts of the northeast coast received some of the heaviest erosion ever from tropical storm Ida in recent days. If you are up that way or want to make a quick road trip it sounds like a good time to do it. Be safe and have fun.
Here is a nice list of sunken treasure ships including the El Salvador which lies off the coast of North Carolina. I mentioned the El Salvador and it's ties to a Florida company not too long ago. It is fun reading.
According to the surf web sites, the seas will remain around five feet all week. It looks like the tide will be pretty high, at least today. I'm going to lower my treasure beaches conditions rating to a 2. I showed you the other day how some of the beaches have really filled in. It will be a hunt and peck proposition with a few good spots remaining and some low tide areas to scour.
Someone asked me if there are any metal detecting clubs in the area. Of course there is the Treasure Coast Archaeological Society that meets in the Sebastian area. A google search will provide the details.
Someone else asked for a bigger picture of the conglomerate I showed a few days ago.
Here it is.
The weather is beautiful for being on the beach.
Friday, November 13, 2009
The photos are of the beach at John Brooks Park looking north.
What a difference a day makes - or maybe two. I was really surprised how much the beach had changed in such a short period. It was not what I was expecting at all.
Now there is nothing but mush. Those nice three and four feet cuts as far as the eye can see are gone.
The waves were hitting the beach straight on and evidently pushing up the sand that was removed a few days ago.
I didn't get to see many other beaches today and none from Indian River County north, so i don't know what happened, if anything, up there in the past two days.
The cuts by the Fort Pierce inlet also got filled in. A lot of sand was moved over the past two days, but it was moved back up on the beach.
One beach in St. Lucie County did have a little more erosion. That beach has some bends and when the waves change direction, a different part of the beach erodes.
From what I've seen, I'll maintain my 3 beach conditions rating, but am tempted to reduce it back to a 2. I just haven't seen enough of beaches to make that change yet.
These two high quality rings were found by Gary D. recently while hunting the low tide areas south of the Treasure Coast. I've been advising you to hunt the low tide area while we have the west winds. Gary said there were not too many bad targets in his area, but these nice gold (and platinum) rings were found as well as some sinkers.
I know a lot of people don't like to dig sinkers but I would always thoroughly check areas with a concentration of sinkers. I once found a full ounce-and-a-half 18k gold ring in a hole with a group of sinkers of similar weight. Some of my heaviest rings have been found in conjunction with sinkers.
I'll get this out. You might be interested in how the Ft. Pierce beaches have changed with the passing of the cold front.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I'll talk a little about the significance of these items in just a minute.
The Outer Banks and the northern Atlantic coast should be in for some good hunting. Ida is heading up that way and some are saying that they will get 30 foot waves.
Locally, the seas are fairly calm and the winds are from the northwest. That means that it will be a good time to hit the low tide areas. I know there are a good variety of metal items on many of the beaches now.
The surf web sites are predicting a small increase in seas after today but not much change for the next seven days.
There are still some nice deep cuts out there but some have been pretty well detected and some of the biggest cuts are not the hottest spots. I've shown you some of the big cuts and some of the other beaches over the past few days.
After analyzing my finds from yesterday, I think that even though the Indian River County beaches were not as deeply cut as the St. Lucie County beaches, the Indian River County beaches look like the most promising.
In today's photo you see a picture of a few miscellaneous things that came out of the shell lines around Indian River County. Those items aren't very significant unless you use them as "signs" and try to determine what they might be telling you.
Among these insignificant items, can you guess which I find most significant?
For me the most significant is the little grey small caliber lead bullet. Those bullets can be found in the dunes around Turtle Trail by the handfuls. After erosion you'll find them on the beach. But the reason they are significant to me, is that they generally indicate decent conditions. When I find those bullets, I often also find shipwreck coins or other shipwreck artifacts. I refer to the bullets as "signs" because they indicate that there is a good possibility of shipwreck items also being found on that beach. I am sure that the bullets are from a much later time than the treasure ships, yet they often show up at the same time on the beach as the shipwreck treasures.
Old copper sheets also often be indicate an old shipwreck in the area and could actually be from an old shipwreck.
The coins are significant in that they obviously have spent some time in the ocean environment and are not recent drops, yet they recently became accessible.
The penny at the top is a wheatie. That isn't a very significant find, yet it tells you that older things have recently been uncovered. That can be a promising sign, although I do not find it as significant as either the bullets or the copper.
In summary, the point I am making is that finds often provide useful information. Every item you find on a beach can tell you something that can be used to guide your hunting. Those items can tell you whether you are in a promising area and should hunt the area more toroughly or weather you should move on. Even aluminum foil and pull tabs and iron junk can tell you something useful. That is one reason I selcom use an discrimination on a beach.
Beaches move. So do the items on them. When you find an item it tells you something about how the beaches and items on the beach are moving.
Detecting on a beach is different than detecting on solid ground. Beach detecting is more like big game hunting. You can learn to stalk treasure. Learn the signs and look for them.
On another note - I saw the Polly-L coming up the Indian River yesterday and today she was resting just inside the Fort Pierce inlet.
One reader emailed me a question about coin lines and shell lines. I've talked about coin lines a good bit in the past, but maybe it is time to discuss that again someday soon.
That's it for today.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In the picture you see a clump that was recently found with a metal detector and dug up on the Treasure Coast. Can you find the two fossils and one ring? The small very black item near the left side of the clump is a piece of fossilized bone. Over near the right side of the clump, near the bottom, is a brown square area. I can see enough of it to tell that it is an old fossilized horse tooth. And back to the left -below and to the right of the black piece of fossil is a ring. It can be seen stuck on near the top of a grey stone protruding from the clump.
I thought it was interesting how different things of such different ages could be clumped together in one clump. I'm about curious enough to bust it open to see what else might be in there.
Beach Conditions and Forecast.
It looks like the Saint Lucie County beaches got cut better than the Indian River County beaches. I guess a lot of people were off work on Veterans Day and were out detecting. I saw detectorists on the beaches of both counties.
The winds and seas have calmed down and with the West winds you can get out in the low tide areas. There are a lot of miscellaneous metal items along the shell lines down close to the water. One guy I met had found two gold rings at Wabasso and another guy I met was picking up sharks teeth north of Seagrape Trail. I know that a few shipwreck related secondary targets were found. (If you haven't been reading this blog very long, I refer to secondary targets as including modern items as well as shipwreck items that are not coins and not made of precious metals. That includes things like ceramics, copper or lead sheeting, spikes, etc.)
It looks like the seas will remain calm (less than five feet) for at least a few days. This is a good chance to check out the low tide areas before the seas pick up again. The surf web sites predict that the seas will increase some again around Saturday.
There is a low pressure area near Bermuda. I don't know how that will affect us.
The photo of the beach above shows Corrigans this morning. Its not cut very well, but the front beach is low. There were a number of people detecting there this morning. Check the area behind the front sand bar and on the lower slope of the beach along the shell line. Quite a mixture of metal items were found in that area. Rio Mar was similar and had a few more older coins to find.
The thing to do now is pick up whatever is out there and wait for the weekend with the hope that the beaches will improve.
Monday, November 9, 2009
This photo was added to the post around 8:30 PM. Notice the detector for scale.
Beach Conditions Upgrade. Did you hear the one about the butcher that sat on the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work? Say that to yourself again. Well, I got a little behind on my blog today.
I do have an upgrade to issue. I saw three to four foot cuts at one beach for hundreds of yards. That is the most erosion I've seen for months. I'm upgrading my beach detecting conditions rating from a 2 to a 3. Even though the winds and seas have now calmed down the high seas later yesterday did the job. I don't expect to see much more improvement until the cold front passes through, which should be tomorrow or later. I'll have to get out and sample some places before I decide if and when any additional changes to my rating are needed.
I have some nice photos of some great cuts, but I wanted to get this posted before it gets any later and I don't have much time to upload the photos. There is some chance that I'll get a photo or two posted later tonight, but I can't promise that. Maybe tomorrow.
Gold Going to $2500 or More? The last time I looked, the price of gold was over $1106 per ounce. It just seems to keep going up. Some say it could go over $2500. If you want to read more about that, here is a good article.
35 Tons of Sunken Gold Ingots. Talking about gold, here is a wreck that held 35 tons of gold ingots. That is enough to make it interesting even if it isn't on the Treasure Coast.
Reader Emails. I always appreciate hearing from fellow explorers, historians and detectorists, and I especially appreciate receiving the questions and comments and photos of the readers of this blog. I try to answer all questions in a reasonable time, but can't always do it. Please don't be offended if I don't answer you right away or if I lose track of your question, which happens occasionally.
When I started this blog I did not expect anything like the 33,000 plus hits that this blog has accumulated in just over a year - and all without a promotional effort. And although readers may not realize it from reading the posts, treasure hunting is not my top priority in life and there are a number of things that come take a higher place in my life. Fortunately the computer makes it relatively easy for me to keep this blog going because I can do it whenever I get a few minutes.
You might or might not have noticed that my posts are posted at different hours of the day and sometimes I even miss a day or two. Very often much of what I type is typed in the middle of the night or whenever else I happen to get the chance. Although I get a number of requests for meetings or whatever, I hope you'll just continue to send questions or comments via email because other responsibilities make it impossible for me to honor those requests. It is only computer networking technology that make this possible for me to do.
I hope to have more for you very soon.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I've been talking about noticing the layers on a beach. This erosion displays a number of nice defined layers. One thing a bit unusual is the coarse shell layer under a layer of much denser material and clay. My guess would be that the material on top of the shells was dumped there. The shells do not look old. In fact, I've seen plastic and materials from a more recent time in the shell layer and fossils many thousand years old in the layer above.
The reason you should pay attention to the different layers on a beach is that some layers will contain materials of a certain age - maybe the 18th century of example. Other layers will contain materials from different times in history. If you learn which is associated with which, you can tell when certain materials are likely to have been washed out.
This is one spot where the waves have been gradually cutting away for a few weeks. Notice, though, the recently washed up seaweed and loose sand that is in front of the cut.
This week looks like it could possibly get good towards the end of the week. The surf web sites are projecting seven foot seas for much of the coming week. As you know, factors other than wave height are important in determining what will happen to the beaches, but at least we'll have that one factor going for us. We'll have to wait and see how the other factors shape up. If the shift to north winds that is predicted for the end of the week actually happens, that should put the icing on the cake.
Despite all the waves, I'm still only giving a 2 (on a five point scale) for my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions rating, but I am expecting to be able to change that soon. There is just too much sand out there in many places and the southeast winds are not helping matters even though there are some scattered locations that aren't bad and where a few things will surely be found.
Report from Beaches to the South. Just in from Tom Gidus, whose site you can find listed at the bottom of my list of treasure sites on this blog site - the high tide is beginning to hit the dunes at Jupiter Inlet and beaches south. Just minor erosion reported so far.
Shipwreck Coins and Artifacts. I just ran across a nice retail web site that provide a lot of 18th Century shipwreck coins and artifacts to browse. Among the nicely described and photographed items are 1715 Fleet, Atocha, Browsing sites like that will help you learn to recognize things that you might see in the field. That type of information ca be invaluable. There have been times when I failed to properly identify an item in the field and as a result I probably missed some other items.
Take a look.
Treasure Coast Treasure Beaches Map on Ebay.
Steamboat Reference Book. Here is a great reference book on steamboats at a cheap price on ebay.
Both items will be ending soon.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
This photo was taken Sunday. Although you can see where sand has been removed,this beach is not as good as it might look by looking only at the cut. In front of the cut is a bunch of mushy sand. And seaweed. The seaweed shows that light materials are being washed up on the beach. That is not what you want to see.
In case you haven't noticed, today (Sunday) the winds have shifted a bit and are coming more from the Southeast or East. That is not good either. Nonetheless there are a few spots where the angles are still ok for continued erosion. One spot has an eight foot cliff cut into the face of the back dunes. Unfortunately it is not one of the more productive beaches for shipwreck finds.
When the wind shifted the erosion began at other locations. In some cases the erosion moved yards down the beach one way or another. In other cases it disappeared. Watch the angles.
The wind is still blowing and we have six to seven foot seas. The seas are expected to increase until later Monday and then slack off only to increase a bit again later in the week. Over time it could do some good.
There is a good chance that Ida will hit Florida, and a possibility that Ida will cross the state and enter the Atlantic near Jacksonville.
Again, there are some nice spots out there but you will probably have to scout around and do some walking to find them. Older coins and items are appearing at some of those spots. Its funny where things pop up sometimes.
There are also some nice shipwreck finds being made in areas of Florida other than the Treasure Coast. That is all I will say about that right now.
I feel that with the week of wind and waves that we've had, combined with what is projected for the coming week, eventually some of those good spots should improve. Right now I'm sticking with a 2 on my treasure beach detecting scale.
I want to remind you to watch the layers. You can often see different layers of sand and shell and even clay on the beach. Study the layers. They provide a lot of information. Notice the different colors and textures. Notice the age of items in the layers.
Florida Treasures List. Here is a nice forum thread on Florida treasures that goes county by county and has a lot of nice photos.
I've been focusing so much on beach conditions lately that I haven't shown many finds. I'll have to get show you some of those photos before long.
There is a lot going on. Ida could possibly affect Florida. Tropical depression Henri could also. And locally we have some pretty good winds and increasing seas. Saturday we're having six foot seas, which will be increasing slightly to Monday, and then later in the week we are supposed to get even higher seas. This continual churning could eventually do the job. On top of everything else, we are getting some nice high tides.
I can remember many years when there was a very productive storm right around Thanksgiving. One is near legendary. I'm hoping for a good Thanksgiving storm this year.
If you follow this blog on a regular basis, you'll know that my focus changes depending upon what is going on. Sometimes I talk a lot about finds or reference works and leads on different treasures and sites. At other times I focus more on what is going on out on the beaches. Lately that is where my focus has been because of the long awaited change from summer condition. Although things have improved on the treasure beaches, the improvement hasn't yet resulted in a lot of finds of silver and gold shipwreck coins and artifacts around the Treasure Coast. There have been some. More improvement is needed before the beaches become pervasively productive. That might be coming.
As you undoubtedly know, most of the time you can spend 24 hours a day for weeks on end covering the Treasure Coast beaches and never find so much as one cob. Most of the time they are very elusive. But there are times when you can find numbers of cobs in a very short time. What I do in this blog is try to help you know when and how to spend your time in a way that gives you the best chance at success.
There are a few fact that almost everyone recognizes concerning beach hunting. I want to start with a few of them.
Fact 1. Old Shipwreck coins and artifacts are found on the beach most often found on the beach from November through February.
Those items are seldom found on the beaches during the summer when the seas are calm.
Fact 3. Among the most valuable tools of the treasure salvor are the blowers that are used to remove the overburden.
Fact 4. Salvors work most often when the seas are relatively calm during summer months.
Now, lets put what we know together and try to draw some conclusions that will help you know when and where to hunt.
Fact 3 tells us that the old coins and other articles made of precious metals tend to be found under tons of sand unless something moves the sand. Fact 4 suggests that when the weather is not rough, the sand tends to cover the articles we seek. On the beach, since we can not use blowers or a bulldozer to move the sand, we often have to wait for the weather to do the job.
By November, we normally have had a number of storms, or at least some good strong northeasters of significant duration. Over time, the coins that were deeply buried under tons of sand during summer, can be uncovered and pushed up on the beach.
The southeast wind that run counter to the prevailing currents that move the sand along the coast from north to south. That piles the sand on the beaches. But it takes the northeast winds working in conjunction with the north to south flowing near shore currents to move the off-shore overburden and uncover coins that can then be pushed up on the beach. Other coins are uncovered or washed out from the back beaches.
There are so many factors that I left out of this quick summary, that I am wondering if I should post it at all, but decided to anyhow.
Again, we might see prolonged northeast winds and some nice seas for as much as a week or more, so we'll just have to keep a close watch and see what develops. There are some nice spots to hunt out there and I'm very close to increase my beach conditions rating to a 3. For the time being I'll let it stand at a 2 because the cuts are not particularly well placed and there is still a lot of accumulated summer sand and renourishment sand to be moved.
Friday, November 6, 2009
You can see the small cuts that were present at Turtle Trail on Friday morning. Late in the morning near high tide, the erosion was continuing.
The surf web sites now show that they are expecting the seas to peak on Monday, increasing a little over the next few days.
We've had northeast winds for a while now. Yesterday afternoon looked really promising, even though I had not seen too many of our beaches because there was one in particular that was keeping me really busy.
One beach has been continuing to erode into some nice old sand. Too bad that area isn't one where there are known concentrations of treasure coins.
Some other beaches, such as John Brooks have no cuts to mention at all. Others, such as Turtle Trail, have cut a little more and are continuing to erode a little (See photo.). Unfortunately, most of the erosion on the well known treasure beaches is in recently deposited sand and the cuts are neither extensive, deep nor well placed.
It is good that some of the summer sand is being moved, yet it is going to take quite a bit more to make the beaches really productive. I am maintaining my 2 rating on my five point scale. At least we got beyond the 1 (poor) rating that we were stuck with for so long.
Like I said yesterday there are some spots out there that have had some nice erosion. Not all beaches did cut though. You'll have to scout around a bit.
High tide is around 10:30 or eleven.
Detectorist Finds Gold Hoard on First Time Out with Metal Detector. That doesn't happen very often but it does happen. Here is a story about how one man made a great find his first time out.
Take a look at that gold. They don't make things like that anymore. Wouldn't it be nice to stumble on some finds like that.
Notice at the bottom of the article how Scotland deals with treasure trove. Here is the story.
Thanks to Gary D. for submitting the article.
Beach Movement. It's interesting how some beaches are eroding and others not. The difference in beach action is due to a number of factors. Some of them include the shape of the beach, obstructions to the flow of sand, the angle of the wind and waves, and the type of sand on the beach.
Some day I'll have to talk about each of those factors in more detail but right now I want to get this posted, so that will have to wait.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Notice that this site does not look much different from yesterday. The water did come up a bit higher this morning than yesterday. At this particular site things did not improve much, but i found a place that was really eroding this morning. It was one of those out-of-the way spots I told you to look for yesterday. The back dunes were eroding in spots and new layers of sand were being exposed. I saw some undercutting as I stood there watching. I love to watch when nature is at work.
Now, don't get me wrong. As my photo shows that isn't happening everywhere. But there are some scattered spots where it is happening. I can't say how pervasive the improvement is, because the first spot that I checked this morning is where I stayed most of the morning. I suspect that the higher waves are probably doing some good at some of the beaches that i did not get to, but of course, I am not sure of that.
Nonetheless, on the basis of what I saw, I am upgrading my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating to a 2. To remind you, my scale is a five point scale running from 1 to 5, with 1 being poor and 5 great. My scale rates detecting conditions for the Treasure Coast treasure beaches for old silver and gold shipwreck coins and artifacts.
I am expecting further upgrades later this week, but will wait to see what actually happens.
I do want to tell you that some of the sand being exposed this morning in that one spot where I spent a lot of time, has not seen the light of day for many years. I am certain of that.
You might want to search out some new areas for yourself. And let me remind you to take a good heavy duty goody bag. Don't try to use a plastic shopping bag.
The surf web sites are still projecting peaking seas on Friday and Monday. It looks like they have increased the projected height too. That is good. It looks like things might finally be improving as it usually does in the Fall.
Top Steamboat Reference.
Steamboat Days, a top reference work on steamboats is available on ebay for a low price. Not only is this reference full of information, but it is also collectible. Steamboat Days, authored by Fred Erving Dayton and illustrated by John Wolcott Adams, was printed in 1925. It has 436 profusely illutrated pages. If you are interested in nautical history or reference materials you will find this book helpful. See
You might want to get ready for the weekend. It looks like conditions will improve.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I'll let the photos do most of the talking today.
The photos were taken this morning around high tide. The first photo shows Sebastian from Ambersands Park. As you can see there are virtually no cuts there.
The second photo shows the beach at Wabasso. It looks like the sand has filled in since the last time of showed you a photo of this beach.
The third photo shows the beach at Turtle Trail. Not much erosion there. There was a spot or two where the water hit the cliff and caused some sand to fall in, but very little. If you go up to Seagrape, there were some decent cuts there (the best I saw today), however the erosion was in beach renourishment sand and therefore probably not productive unless that sand held something when it was dumped.
And the last photo shows the Nieves site. It has deteriorated too. The water was topping the beach and rounded off all of the old cuts.
In summary, nothing much has happened yet. The problem is that the waves were hitting the beach straight on, and that seldom does much good. Perhaps something will happen by the end of the week.
The surf web sites are projecting up to five or six foot seas. Hopefully the angles will improve a little, most likely Friday or Monday if the surf sites are correct. I would bet that if you're really willing to work for it, you can find a couple of spots with a little erosion and some places where the back dunes have washed out just a little. Those spots seem to be few and far between though.
Its hard to imagine with all those rough seas that I'd be sticking with a "1" (poor) beach conditions rating, but that is what I'm doing. Remember,I start my ratings with a 1 instead of a 0 because there is always a chance. Unfortunately there is just too much accumulated sand to be moved, and it isn't happening yet.
I haven't had a chance to see what the low tide areas look like. Maybe I'm missing something. And the places where the water has dumped shells on the top of the beach might be worth a look.
Gold Soaring. Gold finished at a new record high yesterday, and is nearing $1100 today even though the dollar as been doing well of late. The increase in the price of gold was undoubtedly in part due to the fact that India bought 200 metric tons of gold at the market price of $1045 per oz. India is evidently bullish on gold. That kind of demand for gold has to affect the market. As I've been saying, if you don't really need the money hold onto your gold. I'm sticking with that advice even though the dollar has been strong for a few days.
Watch for developments later this week.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Just another one of those little blackened half reales that can be found with a metal detector on the Treasure Coast beaches.
Discovery of Treasure Ship El Salvador? Back a few years ago, there was news about a Florida company finding what they thought was the Spanish treasure ship, the El Salvador, which sunk in 1750 on it's way to Spain from Colombia. I haven't heard much about that since. Maybe it wasn't the El Salvador after all, or maybe I just missed the news.
Here is an article telling about that discovery.
Article on Observing Beach Erosion.If you've read much of this blog, you probably know that I watch the beaches and try to determine where and how beach erosion occurs. I've also mentioned some spots along the Treasure Coast where the beach has been removed so far that the remains of old structures that were once located back from the water, are now near the water line, and in some cases, in the water.
The following article tells about how one man has been trying to locate the sites of old life saving stations. I remember reading in the past where entire city blocks have disappeared and are now are under water. That reminds me of the place below the Vero Beach Holiday Inn where until recently you could find the frames of old cars that fell in when the parking lot collapsed during a storm.
Follower Sites. I can't always find the time that I need to do the things I would like. I'm sure it is that way with everybody, but the other night I started to look through the Follower Profiles on this blog and noticed that some of them list personal sites or links. I didn't have time to look through them all, but did see some interesting things. Here is one example that I found. You might want to take a look through the profiles yourself.
If you have some favorites and want me to mention them, let me know. I won't guarantee that I can use them, but if and when it fits in with my post, I will use a few. I'm happy to reward the followers of this blog with a little publicity when I can.
Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions. It looks like the predicted front arrived on time. It came through the Treasure Coast about 9 AM this morning. The white caps on the river seem to be coming from the northeast. These are the kinds of days I like - cloudy, rainy and blowing.
The surf sites are predicting five foot seas, peaking at about six feet on Friday. The six foot seas are sort of borderline. But what is most interesting to me is the fact that they are showing prolonged north winds. We haven't seen that for some time, and that could do us some good. I would expect to see some cutting. How much, I don't know yet. Since the seas aren't very high yet, I wouldn't expect too much, although even a little helps.
I'd recommend getting your gear ready just in case.
I'll have a photo or update before long.
Monday, November 2, 2009
This is one of those front-beach cob finds. I like the odd shapes and the partial monograms that you have to figure out.
You'll know more what I mean by "front-beach find" when you read the remainder of this post.
Brevard County Detecting Article. Many of the articles that discuss treasures found on the beach are fun to read but they often don't provide many clues that would actually help the treasure hunter. I ran across one article about Treasure Coast beach hunting that will help you if you read it carefully and notice the little hints.
Talking about Hurricane Jeanne, for example, the article says, "But it took Jeanne to bring a slice of the shoreline back to where it was in 1715, he said." That seems to suggest that the sand must be eroded back to the sand that has been in place since the treasure was lost before you can find those coins. Of course that sentence is not talking about coins that have just been washed up and deposited on the beach, which I am convinced does happen, but it is talking about those coins that are washed out of the dunes or at least brought within detector range by the removal of more recently deposited sand.
Some people believe that coins wash out of the dunes or are uncovered by erosion, and some people believe that treasure coins wash up out of the ocean, and some (including myself), who have found old treasure coins in sand that was recently deposited, believe that it works both ways.
One other thing suggested by the article is that coins that spend most of their time covered by the back beach or dunes are often in better condition than those that have been tossed around in the ocean. I think that more often than not, that is true.
The article also quotes Robert Marx who cites two factors that determine success in beach metal detecting. This is what it says, "What separates those who make a real find from the legions of beachcombers is knowledge and patience, Sir Robert Marx said."
If you want to read the entire article, here is the address.
New Smyrna Beach Shark Attacks. I just read that New Smyrna beach was rated as the most dangerous beach for shark attacks. Of course that is not too far away from the Treasure Coast.
I always had the feeling that sharks were repelled by the electrical or magnetic fields produces by underwater detectors. I've seen some sharks dart off as if they were repelled by the detector. It could have been something else that repelled them. On the Myth Busters TV show they did show that sharks were sensitive to magnetic fields. If anyone knows if there is anything to the idea that metal detectors might actually repell sharks, i'd like to hear your thinking on the subject.
To see what other U. S. tourist places are on the most dangerous list, go to the following web site.
Treasure Coast Forecast and Conditions. The seas are calm and the conditions are not very good even though we are getting some nice high tides. But the big news is in the forecast. If the surf web sites are right, it looks like the seas will increase to about six feet on Friday. That could do some good. But the most interesting thing to me is the north winds that the sites say we will be getting from about Tuesday or Wednesday and continuing for a few days. Those north winds along with some good high tides and the increasing seas might produce some good cuts.
I'll be watching the beaches to see when it starts to happen if it does.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
If you like to metal detect on the beaches, I don't blame you. Beach hunting has a lot to offer. But no matter what type of hunting you prefer, you can always learn something new by branching out and trying other types of hunting. In sports they call it cross-training. It also provides good alternate activities when the beaches aren't cooperating.
This path in the photo is in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. It was an Indian path. Plenty of arrowheads have been found near an old fresh water spring that still flows just up ahead on this path. And the deer and squirrels still abound in the area.
When an area has something to recommend it, it is generally used over the centuries. That has been the case with this path.
By the way, there is a steep ravine to one side and the path and a steep hill on the other. The path is not generally as broad as it looks in this photo.
I've found a variety of things on this path, including horse shoes, wagon parts, old coins,and even a 1929 class ring, and down in the gully below this path, old bottles and fossils.
I've talked about the signs of treasure before. On this path, if you have sharp eyes, you can see broken pieces of old glass and things that will tip you off to the presence of long-time human use. There was also at one time a log cabin to the right of the path near the site of this picture.
My main message today is to scout around a little and look for the signs of treasure. You can find the signs of treasure on the beach the same way you can find them on solid high ground. Notice any old pieces of glass, iron, copper, brick, or other materials and try to identify their age and where they might have came from. That is the same no matter where you hunt. There probably will be signs to point you in the right direction if you recognize them.
Treasure Coast Beach Conditions. Fall is here but it really hasn't changed much here on the Treasure Coast.
It looks like the seas will remain in the area of about three feet for most of the week. The north wind might do a little good near the water line. The tides are getting pretty high now, but I don't think they'll get high enough up on the beach to do much good. Overall, conditions are far from ideal. You'll have to hunt out those scattered little spots where something is going on.